California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Region 7 Central Valley Newsletter 
Spring - 2016

Coordinator Message 

Recently, nearly forty Environmental Educators from all over the Valley had a chance to network and attended the first half of a workshop series designed for non-formal educators, to learn pathways and to support the transition of their programs to NGSS.  This spring they will continue their education, in order to help formal educators and the community to understand the environment through the lens of NGSS. In addition, CREEC has been involved in the development of a new Collective Impact for Environmental Literacy in Merced County.  Region 7 CREEC continues to work toward the recommendations put forth by the Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. 

If you are unfamiliar with the Blueprint, this document has shown that our environment has never been more important as Californians are affected by climate change, drought, overfishing, wildfires, nature deficit disorder and the over-dependence on screen time for young people.  State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, released the Blueprint for Environmental Literacy this last fall to guide strategies and initiatives to realize the ambitious goal of achieving environmental literacy for all California Students. 

"Now is the moment to elevate environmental literacy as an essential element of a 21st century education in California, and to establish the leadership, collaboration, strategic partnerships, and necessary funding to ensure environmental literacy for all California students."    - Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent (Blueprint for Environmental Literacy p3)  

This is a document that educators and administrators, parents, environmental education advocates, community members, financial stakeholders and anyone interested in making sure today's youth get to experience our natural resources should read! 
To learn more about the Blueprint click here. For information on attending the NGSS Pathways for Non-Formal Educators Workshop, contact your CREEC Coordinator.  For other ways to increase your environmental literacy, see some local opportunities in this newsletter.  For information on the new Collective Impact for Environmental Literacy in Merced, look below.  

Please share this newsletter with your fellow teachers and colleagues. We need all of us! 
Jody Bertolucci, CREEC Coordinator, Region 7
What's New in Region 7

FREE Summer Curriculum Program at Boyce Thompson Institute in New York

Application Deadline March 15, 2016

Here's an opportunity to apply for a fully funded trip to New York this summer, working with the scientists at the Boyce Thompson Institute. The Boyce Thompson Institute's (BTI) is offering a Curriculum Development Project in their Plant Biology program. This is a week-long intensive professional development opportunity for 7-12th grade and community college science teachers. . .
June 13 to June 17, 2016
The Delta, the San Joaquin and Kings River will all serve as backdrops to this Department of Water Resource funded summer institute. Topics will include current water issues, NGSS aligned science environmental science content and curriculum focused on Flood Plain, riparian and Delta ecologies plus watersheds.  . . .

CIB's Sierra Institute: Patterns, Proportions and Practices June 17-19 and June 24-26, 2016

Registration Closes April 15
Don't miss California Institute for Biodiversity's 2016 Sierra Institute as they investigate the Crosscutting Concepts of Patterns and Scale, Proportion and Quantity within and across California habitats
. . .
Read more about CIB's Sierra Institute (PDF OR opens in a new window)

$1000 Stipend Available for "Model my Watershed"
June 20 to June 23, 2016
Application Deadline May 20, 2016

The Concord Consortium, the Stroud Water Research Center, the Central Valley Science Project and SAM Academy are pleased to announce the Teaching Environmental Sustainability-Model My Watershed (TESMMW) workshop, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Participants and their students will use free portal-based . . .   
Read more about Model My Watershed (PDF OR opens in a new window)

City of Merced Offering FREE Water Conservation and Recycling Presentations 

Looking for a classroom or assembly size presentation, for K to 12th school children in Merced? The City of Merced is offering FREE conservation presentations that can be tailored to fit any time frame, but typically lasts 45 minutes.  . . .
Read more about this opportunity (PDF OR opens in a new window)

AEOE Spring 2016 Conference Registration Now Open 

The CA Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE) is proud to announce their Statewide Spring Conference, April 29 - May 1, 2016, at Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu .   . . .
Read more about - AEOE Spring Conference  (PDF OR opens in a new window)

Local Events
Collective Impact for 
Environmental Literacy
Developing in Merced County


The recently released Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, along with the National Park Service Centennial and the "Every Kid in a Park" initiative have prompted a new effort in Merced County.  Together, Dr. Jeanne Knapp, an educator and community advocate in Merced County, and Candace Sigmond, Education Coordinator for Grassland Environmental Education Center (GEECe), sent broad reaching invitations for anyone interested in environmental education to come together and talk about expanding environmental literacy. 

The first meeting was held in January and since that time the roster of interested individuals and organizations as grown from about fifteen to 95.  Jeanne shared, "We are excited to see this level of enthusiasm in our region.  By developing relationships with a focus on environmental literacy, expanded opportunities will appear.  Connecting students, educators, businesses, community members, and governmental agencies - at least in part through leveraging of our CREEC network - is powerful!"

Currently planning for a second gathering, to be held on March 2nd, plans for assisting those interested in becoming CREEC providers in completing the process, promote those looking for providers to sign on for access to the CREEC provider resource list, and continue work to identify a "collective" goal around environmental literacy for the region.  If you would like more information, please contact Jeanne at or Candace at  
The more Environmental Education Collaboration the Better!!


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Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.
CREEC is housed and supported by the Fresno County Office of Education
Jody Bertolucci, Contact Info (, (559) 265-3098 Ext.4354

Shannon Gordon, Statewide CREEC Coordinator,
STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

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